Notes to Broadcasters on mead (honey wine):

    | February 11, 2008

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    In many parts of Africa, beekeeping is described as a viable small business option for rural residents. The low cost of entering into beekeeping makes it desirable for the entrepreneur. And it is an environmentally-sound option, because it makes use of the natural environment without depleting resources. The Makana Meadery has risen to fame in South Africa, not only for the quality of its mead, but also for its active creation of beekeeping jobs.

    You may wish to seek out a similar success story to report in your broadcast area:
    -Which foods or beverages are unique specialties of your area? Are there rural entrepreneurs who produce and sell them?
    -Who are some of the most successful entrepreneurs in your area? Are they creating jobs for other rural residents?
    -Is beekeeping a traditional activity in your area? Are there people who have taken up beekeeping in the past few years?

    DCFRN has produced several scripts on the topics of entrepreneurship and beekeeping. We have highlighted two of the more recent scripts below, but please remember that you can always search DCFRN’s online archive of scripts for any topic that interests you:
    -“Earning Extra Income for the Family – One Woman’s Success Story,” from Package 68, Script 5, September 2003
    -“Improved Honey Production and Processing in Dryland Kenya,” from Package 79, Script 1, November 2006

    Finally, here are some fun facts about mead that we thought you might enjoy:
    -Mead is believed to be the oldest alcoholic beverage known to humankind. Prior to the industrial revolution in Europe, it was much more popular than grape wine.
    -Some people believe that the term “honeymoon” derives from the European tradition of giving newlyweds enough mead to drink each night for the first month of marriage. This was supposed to promote happiness and fertility.
    -Traditional recipes and methods for preparing mead vary from country to country in Africa. The South African iQhilika mead and an Ethiopian mead known as taj are two of the most well known varieties.